Otoplasty is a procedure to resize or reshape ears that are too large, misshapen or stick out from the head. Otoplasty is performed on candidates of almost all ages, including children that are teased by their peers about the appearance of the ears. If you would like more information about otoplasty, please call board certified plastic surgeon Anshu Gupta at Verve Plastic Surgery.
Candidates for Otoplasty
As mentioned, even school-aged children can make good otoplasty candidates. Surgeons prefer to wait until a child’s ears have reached their full size, which typically happens around the age of 6. The procedure is also appropriate for qualified teenagers and adults.
Suitable candidates for surgery are individuals that:
- Are self-conscious of oversized, asymmetrical or protruding ears
- Have otherwise misshaped ears or deformities in the ears
- Are in good general health
- Understand the procedure and what to expect
- Have reasonable expectations of the outcome
Candidacy is discussed during a consultation with the surgeon. If the candidate is a child, the surgeon will explain the procedure in clear terms so the child can give consent and have a general understanding of what will happen. It’s important that the child has a positive attitude about surgery.
More about the Procedure
Otoplasty is generally performed on an outpatient basis at our office under local anesthesia (especially in adults). This circumvents the need for general anesthesia, offers a more affordable solution and an easier recovery. Otoplasty in children may need to be performed in a surgery center or a hospital. Anesthesia will be used for the child’s complete comfort.
The surgical incisions will be made inside or behind the ear where it connects to the head. From there, the procedural steps vary, depending on the specific problem being addressed, and the plan of correction. If the ears stick out from the head, excess cartilage or tissue can be removed, and the ears can be “pinned” closer to the head. If the ear is missing its normal folds, the ear cartilage can be re-shaped and stitched into place to create normal contours. If the ears are too large in relation to the rest of the head, excess cartilage and skin can be removed.
Once the necessary surgical modifications have been made, the incisions are closed with sutures, and fluffy bandages are placed around the ears.
Recovering from Otoplasty
It is normal to have minor bruising, swelling and mild discomfort right after surgery; these side effects will subside with time. For the first few days of recovery, it is strongly advised that you rest frequently and refrain from any vigorous activities (including heavy lifting and exercise). Keep the head elevated and avoid any sudden contact with the ears.
Follow-up visits will be scheduled during your recovery so the doctor can check the ears’ healing progress, remove sutures and answer questions.
Learn More about Otoplasty
If you would like more information about otoplasty for you or your child, please contact Solana Beach board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Anshu Gupta. Call Verve Plastic Surgery at (760) 436-7600 today.